The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) has awarded more than half a million dollars in Community Advocacy Grants to 37 community-based organizations across Louisiana. In the Alexandria area, two agencies received a total of $30,000.
Alexandria-area grant recipients are:
- Louisiana State University- Alexandria
- Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services
These organizations will use the grant funding to support tobacco prevention and control programs that facilitate youth empowerment, promote advocacy and engage special populations that are disproportionately impacted by tobacco. All TFL grant recipients take part in orientation and training to learn how to incorporate tobacco prevention and control practices into their existing programs. According to The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the tobacco industry spends $295.1 million annually to market its products in Louisiana alone. Twenty-three percent of adults in Louisiana are smokers, and more than 7,700 kids under the age of 18 become established daily smokers each year.
“It’s well-known that the tobacco industry strategically targets youth and other population segments such as women, adults over age 50, and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community with deceptive advertising, sponsorships and messages designed to lure them into developing or continuing dangerous behaviors with life-long health implications,” says Pearce. “Community Advocacy Grants are part of TFL’s statewide effort to increase awareness about the health consequences of tobacco use and to call attention to the tobacco industry’s blatant, targeted marketing efforts among these groups. We also hope to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to advocate for tobacco-free policies that protect all Louisianans.”
The TFL Community Advocacy Grant funding period is one year beginning July 1st. TFL is an affiliated program of the Louisiana Public Health Institute and is funded by the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. For more information on the TFL Community Advocacy Grants and the programs they fund, contact Jennifer Pearce, TFL Alexandria Area Regional Coordinator, at (318) 201-4083 or by e-mail at email@example.com.